going giddy over Google Analytics
Why have a website if you don’t know its value? Google analytics is a free tool (that’s right, free!) that allows you to track visitors to your website, how they got there, how long they spent there and whether they converted or not. Put simply, if you want a successful business, you need to know what’s working for your customers and what isn’t. Gazing at graphs might not sound like the most fun pastime, but it’s surprisingly addictive. We look at the best ways that Google Analytics can help you monitor your business.
You can use Google analytics to drill right down to the demographics of your visitors. For example, advanced demographics reports, when enabled, allow you to view your audience by:
Why would you want to see this, you ask? Well, if your target market doesn’t reflect these stats then you need to reconsider your content strategy and persona modelling. Writing for your target audience will improve both engagement and popularity of your website.
You can even see what device users accessed your website from under the audience report, which can prove extremely useful. For example, if a large percentage of your users are coming from mobiles and tablets, but your website isn’t mobile friendly then chances are your stats won’t be that friendly either. Luckily, all our websites are responsive which is good for users and good for Google.
Google Analytics allows you to see where visitors to your site are based. For example, if you’re based in the UK and most of your visitors are from America then that’s something you can investigate. Perhaps your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns aren’t targeted correctly and the result is causing traffic that just doesn’t stick around.
What are the goals of the website? If you have a contact form then make sure you’re tracking it with goals. That way you’ll be able to track your visitors and monitor their journeys through your website. You can focus on what works and stop wasting time on what doesn’t. Have you had a hugely popular E-shot or competition that resulted in an increase in leads? You may want to revisit this and investigate when it was sent and who it was sent to. You can then improve on it for next time.
It’s also important that you utilise custom campaign tracking for your social media and email marketing campaigns. This allows you to easily identify which marketing campaigns are driving what traffic. You’ll be able to view your custom campaigns in the Acquisition > Campaigns section of Google Analytics.
If you have an ecommerce website then ecommerce tracking is highly recommended. It’ll enable you to identify your best performing products and the path to purchase, so if your SEO efforts for a particular ecommerce category are resulting in great sales, you’ll know where to continue focusing your SEO efforts.
If your bounce rates are high and no one is hanging around on your website then the behaviour section of Google Analytics is where you can identify any content culprits.
You can use secondary dimensions to see where the traffic is coming from; perhaps your PPC or SEO campaigns are sending keyword traffic to irrelevant pages. Targeting more relevant landing pages and keywords would be more effective in improving traffic quality and conversions.
Custom dashboards are a great way to save time and focus on the headline figures. Exporting and scheduling email reports can also help keep your team in the loop.
You can even use APIs to retrieve your website data from Google Analytics and combine with your own data, a great time saver that can enable you to focus more on the outcomes.
To get the most realistic number of visits to your website you can use filters to filter out traffic from certain places, such as your workplace. Of course your employees inevitably love your website so much that they no doubt spend all day on it, but these page views will taint your data and give you a false interpretation of website visits.
If you have a large website with an internal search then setting up site search is a fantastic way of finding out what your users are looking for.
For example, you might notice a large number of searches for a particular product. You could look to promote it by linking to it from the homepage and giving it more prominence in your website navigation. This will simplify the customer journey and give your customers what they’re looking for on a silver platter. Our motto at Uprise is “keep it simple”, and you’ll be doing just that!
A great feature of analytics is the ability to allow and restrict different levels of user access to the data. This is particularly useful when different members of the team need access from different locations.
To infinity and beyond!
We hope this inspires you to have a dig about and experiment more with Google Analytics, just a quick word of warning – it can get addictive!
We’re analytics addicts here at Uprise, so if you’d like to know more about the best way to monitor your website performance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.